Sometimes I’m Full of Awesome Ideas

I messaged my daughter yesterday…

ME: Oh my God! I just thought of something fun we can do!

ME: Next time we go to an electronics store, lets sync my phone to a demo Blu Tooth speaker…

ME: And blast BTS!

She hasn’t replied back. I’m guessing she thinks I’m crazy and I’ll embarrass her… But isn’t that my job?

BTW, I would SO do this to her if I had the chance. Just so I could use, “Hey… remember that time I met BTS and you didn’t?”

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Confessions No. 14 – Black Sheep of the Family

Maybe it’s because from the get-go, my MIL pushed her ideas on me about the norm of a proper wife and mother. Maybe it’s because, as much as I do care about them, I find them so much more conservative than I am that I feel suffocated after visiting them for a mere two days.

Maybe I’m just a shit-disturber. And I enjoy seeing people squirm.

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RED!

When my 13-year old daughter used semi-permanent red hair dye I couldn’t help but take a photo (making sure it was in sunlight to really bring out the red) and email it out to my in-laws.  I included an image of one of her k-pop biases, too. Because her red sort of matched his. And he’ll be every image of not-conservative, bad-ass (to them) and just all wrong for them. And because I’ve been annoyed that they’ve treated her like a little girl, not listening to me to stop buying her children’s clothes that are childish and pastel, I just wanted to shove it down their throats… she’s NOT a baby anymore.

She’s an individual. She’s becoming her own person. And if they want to remain close with her, it’s better to accept it. Embrace it! And enjoy this time because it won’t last long. In a blink of an eye she will be an adult. She will really then being living her own life. And it’s better to try and get to know her as she goes through so many changes because this is, I feel, a critical part of her development of who she will become later down the road.

End of Summer – 2017

As we go into the last long weekend of the summer, I am saddened to be saying good-bye to such an amazing 2 months! It’s been awhile since I felt this way. Of course, I’ve enjoyed many past summer months but with work always being so crazy, it really just sort of blends into the next season for me.

This summer, though… there was something very different about this past summer, which I will get into at the end of the post. First, a re-cap of some of the memories we’ve made to end our warmer months of the year!

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March boardwalk view from one of the trails.

We did go on our traditional, week-long camping trip. This time, we selected a new Provincial Park – Charleston Lake. Being a park with a lot of great nature trails, moderate to difficult hiking trails and many scenic canoeing routes (through the diverse amounts of islands in the bay), this was a very ideal park for us to go camping.

I was able to hit the trails three times on my own during the early mornings while the rest of the family slept in. I eventually got into vacation mode during the last half of the week and slept in as well but I usually am always the first to wake up. We also, as a family, hit three trails together. All in all, I tried to stay active since it was one week away from my usual workout routine.

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Found a great hidden spot on a tiny isolated island. We stayed here for a quiet picnic.

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Our last day paddling for an hour before we headed back to the city.

We managed to rent the canoe for two days. Day one was to find an isolated and deserted island for a picnic. Day two was the same afternoon we were heading back to the city. After packing everything up, we decided it was worth to rent and paddle for at least an hour before heading back. Both times did not disappoint!

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The slowest ride on earth. Seriously – I was bored after being stuck/stalled for the 3rd time.

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It’s traditional to go on the Ferris Wheel for a great view!

We arrived back for a 3-day weekend, just to give us some time to rest and relax before heading back to work the following week. We decided, since that Friday was going be the opening day of The Ex, to head there for the latter half of the day. The last time we went was 8 years ago. Chaeli doesn’t even remember any of it.

I always realize after spending some time at The Ex why we do not go every year. It’s expensive and really, pretty much the same thing each time. I imagine the next time Chaeli goes, it will be with her friends, leaving Doug and I at home (which will be fine by me).

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Caprese salad – with fresh basil from the garden.

The rest of our days have been drinking wine, making the use of our fresh basil before it’s too late and listening to more k-pop. Which brings me to my final point…

I have had the best summer bonding with my daughter. Sure, k-pop helped as she introduced me to this fun and entertaining world. But the conversations that developed out of this shared fascination has been so wonderful.

I will cherish these summer memories forever. I hope she will too!

“Well… the truth is… actually… I’m in love.”

You know that scene from Love Actually? The one where the stepfather is trying to now be THE parent after the son’s mother dies?

And then the next scene we see these together, they have the following dialogue:

DANIEL: We can definitely crack this. Remember, I was a kid once, too. So, come on, it’s someone at school. Right?

SAM: Yup.

DANIEL: And what does she/he, feel about you?

SAM: SHE doesn’t even know my name. And even if she did, she’d despise me. She’s the coolest girl in school and everyone worships her because she’s heaven.

DANIEL: Good. Good. Well, basically…you’re fucked, aren’t you?

I loved how the father did not make any assumption of his step-son’s sexual orientation. Why would he assume Sam is straight when they have never had this talk before?

Let me tell you something, though. Talking to your kid about crushes and boyfriend/girlfriend relationships is not easy. Not easy at all. And it’s not that, I, as a parent, have problems talking to my 13-year old girl about it. It’s the getting her to open up to me part that’s not easy.

She’s at this age where everything is embarrassing. EVERYTHING! And she’s developed this physical tick in response to most of what I say. Some people call it the ‘eye-rolling syndrome.’ I just call it annoying.

The thing is last night, at the pub where we watched the Toronto Raptors kick ass in the NBA playoffs (see? I told you I like basketball more than hockey), I got to talking about what’s going on in her love life.

And I sort of pulled a Liam Neeson-Love Actually thing. I said, “So last year you liked so and so. What about this year? Do you have a crush on a boy… err… or girl?”

“Mom,” and of course she says this while rolling her eyes.

“What?”

“I’m not… you know.”

“What? Gay?”

“Right.” More eye-rolling.

“Okay – well, I didn’t want to assume! There’s nothing wrong if you are you know?”

“I don’t want to talk about this anymore…”

I probably screwed up that conversation. In fact, she is probably mortified – and hence will be in debt in the future from all the expensive therapy sessions I will have caused her.

Where I Question My Own Parenting Skills

A few weeks ago, my 13 year old daughter and I were doing something. I can’t even remember what – but we were working together to complete a task. I remember complaining about something not working out exactly the way I imagined it. I looked at her to see how she felt.

She waved her hand in the air and said, “Screw it. It will have to do.”

I paused then, looked at her and asked, “Did you just say… ‘Screw it?'”

“Yeah.”

“Oh. You don’t talk that way at school do you? In front of your teachers?”

“No. Of course not.”

“Okay – be careful who you say it in front of, alright?”

“Yes, mom.”

It’s moments like this when I wonder to myself, My God… am I a horrible parent?

The other day, I was ranting and raving to my husband after discovering Logan, the new Wolverine movie, is rated R. I mean, COME ON! They give us two Wolverine and several X-Men movies of which all have been rated PG. Now, all of the sudden they do THIS to us? Just two days before our plan to do a family outing to the cinemas to go and watch this movie, I learned this. Talk about a total let-down.

“Well, exactly what makes it rated R?” I asked Doug.

“Supposedly,” he explained, ‘it’s really, really violent.”

“That’s it?”

“Yeah – like decapitation and stuff.”

“Oh for crying out loud! She’s seen all that stuff before. What else?” I quickly open my IMDB app and check out what other parents are saying. “Look… only a very brief scene of nudity. Some woman flashing her boobs. Not great if it’s very brief, I can live with that. Other than that, there’s 48 uses of profanity… hell, she’s heard all that, too!”

“Well, it’s still restricted.”

“But as parents we’re okay with her going to see it – it’s our decision!”

“They still won’t sell her a ticket.”

“That’s just stupid!”

Of course, at this point, I realize perhaps I’m not the most conventional or conservative mom. In fact, I start to think about the movie Bad Moms and wonder if they want to base a character off of me in the sequel.

In all honesty, I keep myself in check in front of other kids. And when it comes to certain matters I’m actually quite strict. I have, however, noticed I’m far from the type of parents my friends are. There’s maybe only one other that comes close to me but as far as my circle is concerned, I’m SO the ‘bad mom’ of the group. And to be honest, I don’t really care. I came to the conclusion years ago, in order for me to be a happy mom, I had to be myself and do it my way. For the most part, it had to come naturally and not forced. So while I have some friends who didn’t let their 10 year old watch Vampire Diaries or read all of the Twilight series, I totally allowed my daughter to.

Which incidentally worked out for me because I love watching Vampire Diaries and The Originals (oh yeah, she watches that one too).

I wonder, though, where do I get this from? Certainly not from my mom. She tried to convince me, when I turned 19, that I couldn’t legally drink until I was 21.

Course, after having dinner last night with my parents, a definite light bulb appeared shining over my head like a beacon. I was ranting and raving about the whole Login thing to my dad.

“No kidding?” He said – being surprised just as I was. He then looked over at his granddaughter and assured her, “Don’t worry – when it’s available, I’ll buy the Blu-ray for you.”

My dad hadn’t even checked the parent guide online like I did before making such a decision.

Then, flashes of my youth came back to me: my dad catching me swear and calmly telling me not to say such words in public; of him letting me have some beer mixed with ginger ale way before I was a tween; of him letting me watch violent martial arts movie at the age of 8; of him standing outside my bathroom door the first time I had a hangover, asking me if I was okay, knowing I drank too much, but calmly letting me be when I told him I would be fine.

My dad was a strict parent in many ways. But when it came down to it, he also allowed me much freedom to experience life. He did not hold me back from growing up.

So I suppose, without realizing it, my spirit of parenting has stemmed from him. And I’m thankful of that.